If you're saddled with a lot of high-rate consumer debt, you could be putting your finances at risk. To help you eliminate what you owe, we asked finance experts for their top strategies for getting out of debt.
Prioritize your debt
"When it comes to your debt, you need to prioritize to pulverize," said author Nicole Lapin. She recommended paying off your highest interest-rate debt first, which is likely credit card debt. Afterward, tackle your car loan because your vehicle is a depreciating asset.
Put windfalls toward debt first
"Treat newfound money like you never had it. If you get a raise or a year-end bonus, don't start spending more — put it directly toward your debt," said Jeanette Pavini of Coupons.com. Pavini also said that paying down debt requires keeping tabs on how much you owe, setting short-term and long-term goals to pay it off and tracking your progress.
Earn extra cash to pay off debt
"We all know that you've got to cut unnecessary expenses from your budget, but too often we forget to think about the other side of the ledger — our income," said Kyle Taylor of ThePennyHoarder.com. "People who are most successful in paying off their debt usually pick up a few side gigs." Too busy for that? Try apps like Swagbucks to get cash back on purchases.
Invest in yourself
Entrepreneur Josh Felber said you should focus on big ways to increase your income. "Take action, start investing in yourself to grow and obtain the knowledge to start a business, add multiple streams of income and make sure your financial output is not more than your intake," he said. As your income grows, maintain your current lifestyle.
Learn to negotiate
"Negotiate," said Whitney Johnson, author of "Disrupt Yourself." "Even when you think you 'shouldn't,' else you will earn too little or spend too much." When it comes to your debt, talk to lenders to explore repayment options, to get lower interest rates or to have your debt reduced. The worst that can happen is they say no.